I believe I’ve mentioned before in these electrons that the decay of our society accelerated when everything became “a brand.” Emphasizing “branding” ipso facto is fascination with flackery, admiration of appearances, worship at the holy of hollowness.

At Psychology Today Blogs, Dale Hartley skewers the notion of “personal brands.” A snippet:

Is your “personal brand” who you are, really, when you’re not working or looking for work? If not, then it’s just a false front.


*With apologies to T. S. Eliot.


I was at a political function this past weekend. One of my acquaintances was kvetching about complaints from Sanders supporters about some primaries, specifically, complaints that they “had not been allowed to vote,” when, in fact, the issue was that they had not ensured that they were properly registered to vote.

Virginia is an open primary state, but many states have “closed primaries,” which means that, if you wish to vote in a party primary, you must be a registered to vote as a member of that party. If you wish to vote in the Democratic primary, you must be registered as a Democrat; in the Republican primary, registered as a Republican; in the Green Party primary, registered as a Green, and so on. Delaware, where I used to live, was a “closed primary” state.

This is nothing new.

Sanders supporters who were not registered as Democrats were not allowed to vote in Democratic primaries in closed primary states, and, frankly, that was their own damn fault.

“How simple would it have been,” fumed my acquaintance, “for Bernie to tell his supporters to register to vote.”

For more about rules, see Balloon Juice.

06 May 2016 · Comments Off on “Delivered to Your Door” · Categories: Personal Musings

Take a look at this gallery from SeattlePI and decide whether the game is worth the candle (SeattlePI is all that’s left of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, a once-fine newspaper, my paper of choice when I was in that part of the world).

When I was a in high school, I went through a sci-fi phase (Isaac Asimov was my favorite sci-fi author and should be yours too). I read a story I forget what it was called by an author I forget who it was which envisioned a future in which nobody ever left his or her room. All interaction was via some sort of futuristic television. It was not a nice place to be.

That future is now.


I have a solution for persons who need to get out more.

Get out more.

01 May 2016 · Comments Off on Showing My Age · Categories: Personal Musings

When I see a crossword puzzle clue citing “Avengers,” I think of Diana Rigg.

13 April 2016 · Comments Off on Tax Relief · Categories: Geek Stuff, Personal Musings

My tax returns are done and mailed and I won’t have to use MS Windows again for another year.*


If Microsoft succeeds in foisting Windows 10, Spyware Edition, on me, I’m buying a Mac just to do my taxes.


*Commercial manufacturers of tax return software support only Windows and MacOS. Excellent FOSS accounting software exists, but not tax prep software.

10 April 2016 · Comments Off on Dreamers · Categories: Personal Musings, Political Theatre

I rather get a kick out persons who talk about a “real” Republican Party as if such a thing magically mystically exists on some plane separate and distinct from actual voting Republicans.

My real car is a 2016 Lamborghini. The 13-year old pickup truck is not my real car. It’s just not.

28 March 2016 · Comments Off on Stray Question · Categories: Personal Musings

If you built a grain elevator shaped like Aphrodite, could you call it “Venus de Silo”?

27 March 2016 · Comments Off on Dis Coarse Discourse · Categories: Personal Musings, Political Theatre

One element that seems to be missing in discussions about the race for the Democratic presidential nomination is this: Supporting Bernie Sanders does not ipso facto mean repudiating Hillary Clinton. I suspect that the great majority of caucus- and primary-participating Democrats could vote quite happily for either one in November.

The “repudiate Hillary” meme seems stronger amongst Sanders supporters, but is not, in my opinion, indicative of any quality unique to them or their candidate. Rather, I think it’s reflective of his position as a long-shot underdog.

Supporters of long-shot underdogs tend to see themselves as crusaders. They are more likely to “crusade” than to “campaign,” and “crusading” tends to excess.

11 March 2016 · Comments Off on Stray Question · Categories: Personal Musings, Titans of Industry

If the URL for Virginia’ major power company is dom.com, shouldn’t the URL for the Virginia state legislature be sub.gov?

25 February 2016 · Comments Off on I Hope My Little Truck Lasts Forever . . . · Categories: Geek Stuff, Personal Musings

. . . because I dread having to get a new car.

24 February 2016 · Comments Off on “He Don’t Know His Place” · Categories: "That Conversation about Race", Personal Musings

As regards the Supreme Court vacancy, any Southern boy can tell you what’s going on.

Republicans are punishing President Obama for being uppity.

20 February 2016 · Comments Off on How To Get Nevada and SC Results Instantly · Categories: Personal Musings, Political Theatre

Spend a quiet evening.

Tomorrow morning, get out of bed, bring in your newspaper, and look at it.

You will see the results in an instant. I promise you, they will not change overnight.

18 February 2016 · Comments Off on Stray Question · Categories: Personal Musings

Just what exactly are “polar bear plungers” trying to prove?

10 February 2016 · Comments Off on Stray Thought, Igloo Dept. · Categories: Personal Musings

At the grocery store yesterday, I overheard the person ahead of me telling the clerk that she had heard several forecasts of snow. She seemed quite concerned.

None of what she said is supported by the weather link, over there, on the sidebar.———->

I have become convinced that telly vision weather forecasters are not happy until they induce panic.

Panic is their friend. Panic is click bait.

Reality is their enemy.

04 February 2016 · Comments Off on Leave Her Alone · Categories: Personal Musings, Too Stupid for Words

Oh, for Pete’s sake.

This is just stupid.

Paying a grand for a puppy is stupid too, but, if the lady wanted a collie, let her have the damned collie.

I wouldn’t say I love animals, but I like them okay and have housed more than my share. I do contemn cruelty, but fanatical “animal lovers”–well, words fail me.

03 February 2016 · Comments Off on The Climates They are a-Changing · Categories: Personal Musings, Weather or Not

It’s February.

I’m running the air conditioning to dehumidify the joint.

Don’t you dare tell me that it’s a fluke of weather and not somehow related to climate.

02 February 2016 · Comments Off on Ground Hog Day · Categories: Personal Musings

How would you like being dragged out of a nice sound sleep, pulled out into the light, then stuffed back in your bed, all just so a bunch of old white men can have their picture taken with you?

Where is PETA when they could do some good?

31 January 2016 · Comments Off on Facebook Frolics · Categories: Geek Stuff, Personal Musings

It’s complicated.


In case you are not aware of it, you can indeed have a very nice much better online life without Facebook and other social leeches media.

31 January 2016 · Comments Off on Stray Thought, Election Dept. · Categories: Personal Musings

Vote in the real world.

If you are not willing to vote for the lesser of two evils, you will most certainly end up with the evil of two lessers.

29 January 2016 · Comments Off on Trumped · Categories: Culture Warriors, Personal Musings, Political Theatre

Christian Schneider, a “conservative” columnist for the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, wonders what went wrong. Here’s part of his lament:

But it’s also possible that us eggheads, sitting behind our glowing screens philosophizing about voter behavior, stopped actually going out and talking to real voters. Just as modern technology allows members of each party to live in their own virtual reality — a conservative can now go the entire day without reading or hearing a dissenting viewpoint — that same technology can cause internecine fractures within parties themselves.

For instance, a conservative who listens to talk show radio hosts such as Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin or Sean Hannity likely has a far different assessment of the Republican Party than those who curl up with copies of National Review or the Weekly Standard, or even my regular column. While ostensibly working for the same goals, these groups might not even recognize each other if they walked by each other on the street.

Missing from his tua culpa is any recognition that his vaunted Republican intelligentsia has been complicit in rationalizing Republican lies, such as trickle-on economoics and the Great and Glorious Patriot Lie for Irag, and Republican bigotry, such as the right-wing culture war, mass incarceration, and the war on black and brown people drugs.

The difference between the “conservative intelligentsia” and Rush Limbaugh is a difference in style only.

Genteel venality is still venality.